Saturday, February 23, 2013

Islamists Call For Death To Anti-Islamist Bloggers In Bangladesh

On February 15, a 35-year-old Bangladeshi  blogger, Ahmed Rajib Haider, was hacked to death with a machete for his anti-Islamist activity in the capital city Dhaka.

According to Reporters Without Borders :

Police found Haider’s body near his home in Palashnagar, a residential district of Dhaka, on the evening of 15 February. Ibad Ali, a policeman at the scene, said his body bore the marks of machete wounds.

[snip]  Haider was well known for criticizing Islamic fundamentalism under the blog name of Thaba Baba on

He had been covering the street demonstrations being held since 5 February to demand trials and the severest penalties for Islamist leaders guilty of war crimes during Bangladesh’s 1971 war of independence against Pakistan.
Now the uber-conservative Muslims in Bangladesh have taken to the streets, calling for death to all 'atheist' and anti-Islamist bloggers, and as per usual, the protests turned violent. So far four people have been killed in clashes with police, and around 200 have been injured.

The people of Bangladesh can thank the 12 Islamic religious parties of that country for encouraging Muslims attending Friday prayer services in 500,000 or so mosques to get out and protest all those blaspheming bloggers.

In recent weeks Haider and fellow bloggers had launched huge protests demanding a ban on the largest Islamic party Jamaat-e-Islami, and the execution of its leaders for alleged war crimes in the 1971 independence conflict with Pakistan.

Since Haider's death, Bangladeshi social media has been flooded with his alleged blog posts and with those by other bloggers mocking Islam, triggering protests by a number of Islamic groups and clerics.

At Palashbari at least 4,000 Islamists attacked police with home-made bombs and sticks, prompting officers to respond with live fire, district police chief Nahidul Islam told AFP.

A dozen people were injured including five policemen, Islam added.

Protests were raging all over the country, but instead of dealing with the extremist elements in their society, they have warned those critical of Islam to watch their step.

The government has warned of tough steps against those who incite social tension, and urged newspapers and blogs not to publish defamatory writings against the Prophet Mohammed.
It has cracked down on anti-Islam blogs and also given police protection to some bloggers in the wake of Haider's murder.

At least the government is trying to ban Jamaat-e-Islami. Whether they can accomplish that is another story. And they also  shut down a pro-Jamaat website that was allegedly linked to Haider's murder.

No comments: